It has always been a characteristic of God’s people that they are a singing people. Yet God’s people have also recognized that we must always look to Scripture to guide us in understanding why we sing in worship and what this singing should be like. There are many places in Scripture that give us principles that should inform our practice of singing in worship, but there is perhaps no better a source of such guidance than the God-inspired collection of songs—the Book of Psalms. This is why, despite the fact that most Christians in church history have written and enjoyed singing newly written songs, all Christians have emphasized Old Testament psalms as the source and standard for all that we sing.
In this episode of “By the Waters of Babylon,” I take a look at Psalm 96, drawing out principles for why we sing. I also recommend the hymn “Father, Most Holy” from the 10th century Latin and a helpful book on church music by Paul Jones, Singing and Making Music: Issues in Church Music Today.
I pray this episode will be edifying for you!